Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

McAreavey relatives to sue hotel

John McAreavey and wife Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day at St Malachy's Church Ballymacilrory

Relatives of murdered Irish honeymooner Michaela McAreavey are to sue the Mauritius hotel where she was strangled for damages that could top £1 million.

It is understood the majority of any compensation awarded would be donated to a charity foundation set up in memory of the Co Tyrone teacher.

The 27-year-old newlywed, who was the only daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte, was found dead in her luxury room at the exclusive Legends Hotel on the holiday island last January. The hotel has since been renamed Lux.

This summer's trial of two hotel workers accused of the crime heard that Mrs McAreavey had momentarily left her husband John at a poolside restaurant to return to the room to fetch biscuits when she was attacked.

Former Legends employees Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were found not guilty of her murder by jurors at the island's Supreme Court in July.

A well-placed source confirmed that a civil action has now been lodged by Mr McAreavey and the Harte family against the Lux Hotel Group in the Mauritian courts.

The basis for the case will be the claim that the hotel failed to provide a safe place for Mrs McAreavey to stay.

The general manager at the hotel, Brice Lunot, declined to comment.

"We have not yet received official notification of the case so it is too early to comment at this stage," he told the Press Association.

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